A slim but essential guide to the evidence for the deliberate ingestion of psychoactive plants in the animal kingdom. Instances of self-medication by animals are getting more and more common in the mainstream news; Samorini proposes the more radical notion that not only do animals use plants—like we do—for medicinal purposes, they also—like we do—use plants to get of their heads, just for kicks.
For people who are uptight about both the idea that animals are closer cousins than we might like to think, as well as the idea that getting high might be more natural than we might like to think, this book is a double-whammy. For everyone else, it’s a valuable source of information and cheap giggles. It’s hard not to collapse in hysterics at Samorini’s story of Italian goats mugging him for his Liberty Caps, or at the famed drunken orgies of the berry-munching robins in Pleasant Hill, California. Many robins—like many of us—get killed by cars while pissed, which of course isn’t very funny. But if Samorini’s right, and the urge to get out of your tree is a natural drive, perhaps accepting this might help us adjust our neurotic relationship to intoxication.